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WITCO Desperadoes Steel Orchestra Mourns the Passing of Ralph MacDonald

Global - WITCO Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, and by extension Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C., mourns the passing of Ralph MacDonald on the morning of Sunday December 18 in Connecticut, USA, at age 67 after a battle with lung cancer.

....many patrons attending the annual National Panorama competition in Trinidad would catch a glimpse of Ralph on stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on congas in WITCO Desperadoes’ engine room.

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Missing in action.... a wonderful person, and musician, now hanging out with my cousin, Roger Bethelmy, also from the engine room..... God bless you both. rh

My condolences to the family and friends of Ralph MacDonald who succumbed to lung cancer on Sunday morning, especially Robert Greenidge and the entire Greenidge family who are real Desperadoes people and were like family to Ralph. We, Witco Desperadoes have lost alot of our people this year. First it was Allyson Hennessy in May, then Pat Bishop in August and now Ralph MacDonald, 2011 was a rough one. Now as we attempt to enter 2012 we must pull together and move forward to continue to be the best steelband in the world. Ralph you will be missed for your music, your creativity and your great personality by all. Go join the heavenly chorus of Rudolph, Clive, Mike, Crawl, Marlick, Buffy, Allyson, Pat and other departed Desperadoes members and may your music live on..... R.I.P Brother Ralph and may God bless you and all the other departed Desperadoes.

I would like to add my condolences to the loved ones of the late great percussionist,panist, composer and all round musician, Ralph Macdonald.

Though born in Harlem,this son of calypsonian Macbeth the Great proudly held on to his Trini roots, and for many years was a fixture at Panorama in T&T,where he participated as a member of Despers "Engine Room" on occasions.

One of his earliest gigs as a teen was playing the pan on Harry Belafonte's TV show.

A noted jazz percussionist and session musician, he recorded with music greats spanning decades, from Burt Bacarach, David Bowie and Aretha Franklin and many others, to the late Amy Winehouse.

His best known musical composition was "Just the two of us", a tribute to his ancestral homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, which was originally sung by Bill Withers.
He also co-wrote "Where is the love", a Grammy award winner performed by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.

Apart from the personal, this multi talented and versatile musician will be missed by many.

R.I.P. Ralph Macdonald (March 1944 - December 2011)

Glenroy the sad thing is that Ralph tried to give (for free) Trinidad and Tobago the song "Just the Two of Us" he was rejected and was ignored. He told WST this a few years ago when we interviewed him. He was hoping that the Trinidad and Tobago Tobago Travel and Tourist board and the government would use the song as a means of bringing all Trinidadians and Toboggans together. At the time there talk of Tobago and Trinidad going their separate ways. Well we all know how big the song became and who lost out.

Condolenses to the family and relatives of the late great musical wizard Mr. Ralph McDonald. Its always sad when a loved one leave before we have time to say goodbye. Ralph has always been a friend of the people of sweet T&T and we will all miss him. He had a special bond with our beloved Robert Greenidge and Desperadoes. Desperadoes is the only steel band that I know that has lost so many great pan people, from Rudolph Charles to Gunga Din, Crawl, Artie Shaw, Clive Bradley, Scipio Sergeant, Pat Bishop and now Ralph Mc Donald. I hope those who have gone on to meet their ancestors, will inspire those that are left behind to give us a winner in Panorama 2012. This will help ease the pain that we still have for those who have left us. May their spirits guide Andre White to achieve that success for us. We thank them all for the musical legacy that they left with us. '''May they all Rest in Peace'''

Valentine Young if Despers win Panorama in 2012  the ohter bands will protest saying allyuh use spirit from beyond to guide AndreWhite. lol

This is a great loss!  My deepest sympathy is offered to the Mac Donald family, the Desperados and all that knew and loved his work.  May he rest in peace.


I have also had the pleasure of meeting him many times at Panorama. I have always been a jazz fan and fell in love with

the tune 'Mr Magic'  played by Grover Washington in the early seventies. It was then I did my research and discovered that

the composer was Ralp Macdonald and was so proud to know of his strong Trini roots. I became more elated when I learned

about the amount of hit song he had written and co-written plus the numerous notable performers he had worked with.

I (Oswald Gallion) have written a letter, which was published on Tuesday 20th Dec 2011(Express) calling for a national award

in his honour. It would be a nice if WST finds it a worthwhile gesture and use your influence with the powers that be, for Ralp was a great ambassador for Trini culture. I know he'll find peace! To his wife, children and friends, Hold tight! He'll be all right!


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